THE TEXTILE OF THE FUTURE 1 what bamboo consists of 4 2 how soft bamboo clothing is made 6 3 how bamboo

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  • BAMBOO: THE TEXTILE OF THE

    FUTURE EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BAMBOO

  • Struggling to imagine how strong bamboo stems are used to make such wonderfully soft clothing? Bamboo is a unique textile product that comes with a number of striking properties. They’re properties that have a positive impact on your comfort, and also on global environmental concerns such as water scarcity, deforestation, soil erosion, green-

    house gases and the current nitrogen crisis.

    Despite the increasing popularity of bamboo textiles, the majority of consumers are still unaware of the benefits provided by bamboo. This has motivated us to develop this e-book dedicated to this unique textile product. We’re happy to be able to share what we know about the properties of bamboo to help you make a conscious choice

    between bamboo and other textiles.

    Copyright © Bamigo BV Authors: Tom Meijer & Celeste Seffelaar

    THE MOST INTERESTING AND VALUABLE INFORMATION ABOUT BAMBOO CLOTHING

  • 1 WHAT BAMBOO CONSISTS OF 4

    2 HOW SOFT BAMBOO CLOTHING IS MADE 6

    3 HOW BAMBOO DIFFERS FROM COTTON 9

    4 THE ADVANTAGES OF BAMBOO CLOTHING 11

    5 HOW BAMBOO CONTRIBUTES TO A SUSTAINABLE WORLD 13

    6 ABOUT THE PRODUCTS WE MAKE FROM BAMBOO 17

    IN THIS E-BOOK, YOU’LL FIND OUT:

  • A UNIQUE PLANT Here you can see the inside of a bamboo stem, otherwise known as a bamboo shoot. In addition to its unique shape, the trunk has transverse bulkheads at irregular intervals in the cavity, which are visible as outer ridges. These transverse bulkheads are permeable to water and air. The cells in the wall of the bamboo stem consist of 50% lignin, 40% cellulose fibres and 10% vascular bundles.

    As most people have, perhaps you’ve always thought that bamboo is a type of wood. While bamboo may be hard and have impressively strength, it’s important to remember that it’s a species of grass. Like any plant, bamboo has roots. Unlike other plants, however, the bamboo stem has a characteristic round shape and hollow structure.

    WHAT DOES BAMBOO CONSIST OF?1

    BAMBOO FIBRES Let's take a closer look at the cellulose fibres that are used to produce bamboo clothing. In the longitudinal direction of the trunk wall, bamboo consists of these unique cellulose fibres. They are strong and play an essential role in determining the trunk’s compressive strength. Compressive strength is the degree to which a material can withstand compressive forces without warping. This is comparable to the reinforcement of concrete.

    In the cross-section displayed to the left, the increasing number of fibre bundles towards the inner edge of the trunk is clearly visible.

    (Source image: Bambusa)

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  • NATURAL MATERIAL The hollow shape of the bamboo trunk is 1.9 times more efficient as a building material as the rectangular cross-section of a wooden beam. This leads to material savings. Combined with the strong fibres, this makes bamboo an exceptionally suitable building material. One of Mother Nature's most brilliant inventions!

    BAMBOO PROCESSING TECHNIQUES:

    PROCESSING TECHNIQUES Not surprisingly, bamboo is frequently used in the construction of products and buildings. The use of bamboo is more evident in some products than others. A bamboo raft, for example, clearly demon- strates the materials used, while bamboo clothing leaves more to the imagination. This is to do with the fact that there are several techniques available for the processing of bamboo. Each of the four processing techniques is illustrated below:

    SAWING SHREDDING CRUSHING TRIMMING

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  • FROM BAMBOO STEM TO SOFT CLOTHING Now that we’ve unravelled the inner workings of the bamboo plant and established that we use the shredding technique to process our bamboo, It’s time to look at how we turn these tiny bamboo particles into wonderfully soft clothing. It's a complex process, but we've done our best to make it as clear as possible using a visual step-by-step guide.

    2 HARVEST Our bamboo is harvested in China from the plantations of certified suppliers. Only the shoots are harvested. The bamboo plants’ roots remain in the ground So that after the har- vest, the shootsbegin to grow again. As the plant grows so rapidly, we can harvest bamboo for use in our clothing up to 6 times a year.

    SHREDDING After harvesting, the bamboo stems are shredded into tiny chips. This is done using larger rotary cutting machines. Bamboo fibres are small elements of the bamboo stem. These fibres are eventually used to produce bamboo clothing.

    6

  • VISCOSE PROCESS These bamboo chips are then boiled in a bath of sodium hydroxide and carbon disul- phide. Techniques are continuously improving, and waste materials are now reused to ensure they do not contaminate the environment. These techniques are not yet perfect, but developments continue at a rapid pace. This process results in a mushy mass known as bamboo pulp.

    YARNS After a few days, the cooled bamboo pulp is pressed through small holes in a sulphuric acid bath, where it hardens and forms fine threads. These threads are used to spin bamboo yarns of varying thickness. .

    WASHING, BLEACHING AND DRYING Now that we've processed the bamboo, it is called bamboo viscose. These bamboo viscose yarns are washed, bleached and dried – these are the final steps before the yarn is woven into soft bamboo clothing.

    MAKING BAMBOO CLOTHING After washing, bleaching and drying, the bamboo yarn is combined with other materials such as cotton yarn. This careful fusion of threads reinforces the fabric. The result is the most comfortable clothing in which bamboo is by far the most important component. In the next chapter, we explain how to minimise the impact of cotton use.

    7

  • DID YOU KNOW?

    MOST BAMBOO SPECIES GROW BETWEEN 5 AND 20 CENTIMETRES EACH DAY.

    THE WORLD RECORD FOR THE ‘FASTEST GROWING PLANT’ IS SET AT 91 CENTIMETRES IN A SINGLE DAY. IT’S NO SURPRISE THAT THIS RECORD IS HELD BY A BAMBOO SPECIES: BAMBUSA OLDHAMII.

    THERE ARE SPECIES OF BAMBOO THAT ARE MORE THAN 30 METRES HIGH AND 20 CENTIMETRES IN DIAMETER.

    BAMBOO SHOOTS AUTOMATICALLY REACH THEIR MAXIMUM DIAMETER AS THEY GROW FROM THE GROUND. THEY DON’T GET THICKERN WITH AGE, LIKE TREES DO.

    BAMBOO CAN GROW ON PLANTATIONS AS WELL AS IN FORESTS. OOUR BAMBOO IS ONLY HARVESTED FROM THE PLANTATIONS OF CERTIFIED SUPPLIERS.

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  • 3 BAMBOO VS COTTON Most of the clothes we wear are made of cotton – and cotton is far from being environmentally friendly. Thankfully, there's a solution to that problem: bamboo! Why have we chosen to use bamboo in our clothing, though? We've listed the differences between bamboo and cotton that show why bamboo is such a good choice.

    In short, bamboo is better for the environment than cotton in many ways. Not only is the plant itself more sustainable, but also the way it is grown and cultivated ensures that it is an environmentally friendly alternative to cotton.

    Cotton is the water guzzler amongst textiles! On average, 8,000 litres of water are needed to grow a single kilogram of cotton.

    Additionally, cotton is responsible for no less than 11% of all pesticides and 25% of all insecticides used in the world.

    The soil cotton plants are grown in becomes so exhausted during cultivation that artificial fertiliser is required to revive the it enough to enable contin- ued cotton production.

    Bamboo needs nothing more than sunlight and rain- water to grow. There is no need for artificial watering.

    No pesticides, insecticides or fertiliser are required to grow bamboo.

    After cutting, the fast-growing plant continues to grow new shoots, as its roots remain in the ground. Approximately 10 times more bamboo can be pro- duced per square metre than can be produced using cotton plants.

    BAMBOO: COTTON:

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  • Fortunately, there is a solution to reduce the environmental impact of cotton cultivation: organic cotton. The differ- ence between organic and regular cotton cannot be identified by the naked eye. The difference lies in the produc- tion process. The production of organic cotton uses techniques and materials with a low environmental impact. Organic cotton, for example, is grown without the use of pesticides or artificial fertiliser and is spun without the addi-

    tion of chemicals. We remain committed to producing cotton in our products as sustainably as possible.

    ORGANIC COTTON

    Bamboo fibres have a round and smooth structure.

    Cotton fibres have a coarse and rough structure.

    Nevertheless, cotton is also incorporated into our products. That sounds contradictory, so we'll explain. Cotton fibres have a property that bamboo fibres do not possess: the coarse cotton fibres provide sturdiness and structure in clothing.

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  • 4THE ADVANTAGES OF BAMBOO CLOTHING Not only is bamboo less harmful to the environment than cotton; when used in clothing, it also offers many advantages that cotton does not have or where the effect is less noticeable. We wouldn't dream of depriving your of these benefits.

    WONDERFULLY SOFT: Another great advantage is the unparalleled softness of bamboo textiles and the excel- lent comfort offered. The smooth structure of the bamboo fibre is the secret behind this

    fantastic property.

    EXTENDED FRESHNESS: Fabrics made using bamboo offer excellent ventilation thanks to the microscopic holes in bamboo fibres. This is why